Microsoft Office 2019
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Office 2019 is based on the success of Office 2016 by adding some new features. Microsoft has listened to user comments and made changes and improvements that help people do their jobs faster and with fewer steps. In fact, there are so many new features to talk about in Office that to tell you all about them. So you need several articles to read. The first article in the series discusses the features and functionality that are common in multiple applications. In later articles, you will find the news of each individual application.

Office 2019 vs. Office 365

Office 2019 is what they call a “boxed product” (even if you download it), or a retail product. You buy it once, and then it’s yours for life (or as long as you want). Through automatic downloads, you will receive security and maintenance updates for Office 2019, but not updates that contain new features. On the contrary, Office 365 is a subscription-based product that Microsoft continually updates automatically and in the background.

Office 2019 was officially launched in September 2018, but its feature set froze in April 2018, when the Commercial Preview was published. In April 2018, Office 2019 and Office 365 had identical features, but since then, Microsoft has continued to implement new features in Office 365, while Office 2019 has remained the same. That is why there are small differences between them.

Photos online (also known as Dude, Where’s My Clipart?)

When Office 2016 was launched for the first time, it contained the same Clip Art functionality as previous versions. Microsoft maintained a server that contained thousands (maybe millions?) Of clipart images, and could be searched from many of the Office applications. However, shortly after the initial release of Office 2016, Microsoft released an update that removed that feature and replaced it with the Online Images feature. Online Pictures uses the Bing search engine (another good product from Microsoft) to search images across the web, so it is not limited to a single collection of proprietary images. The Online Pictures interface has changed several times since its initial release. To access it, select Insert Online Pictures. Type your keyword (s) in the text box at the top and press Enter to search, or click on one of the categories of tabs to navigate. The OneDrive button in the lower left corner provides access to your own personal photos online on your OneDrive.

Say it with icons

The Icons Office 2019 feature provides access to a library of black and white icons that you can insert as small graphic images. The range of options is quite impressive. To access the Icons library, select Insert Icons. These icons are scalable vector graphics (SVG), so they look good in any size and resolution.

3D models

The first time you insert one of the 3D Office models, you will lose 30 minutes playing with it. And then you will be less upset that the clipart is gone because 3D models are much more interesting. 3D models look like three-dimensional clipart, but they have additional features to customize them. For example, those with a smiley face have a button in the center that you can drag to change the direction in which the face is pointing. When working with a 3D model, a Format tab of 3D model tools appears on the tape, with predefined views in a gallery and a Pan and Zoom function.

Enhanced Ink Editor

If you run Office on a touchscreen device, you can take advantage of a variety of new inking features, such as tilt effects, pressure sensitivity, and the ability to maintain the same pen and pencil settings in all Office applications.

Office 365 users also have access to the Ink Editor, aka Ink Gestures, which use natural gestures such as crossing out something to eliminate it or marking it with a circle to select it. On the Drawing tab (which is present on the ribbon if you have a touch screen), select Ink Editor and then Enable Ink Editor. For more information about the Office 2019 feature, select Ink Editor Ink Gestures Help to open a task pane that explains the different gestures.

If you do not have a touch screen, you can use the drawing tools with the mouse. It is not easy, but it is possible. However, you will not have the Draw tab by default on the ribbon. To enable it, select File Options Customize tape and then, in the right pane, place a check mark next to Draw.

File Versions

Have you ever made changes to a file and saved it, just to realize that you needed the old version again? Don’t you hate when that happens? But in Office 2019 applications, you can avoid that headache if you have saved your files in a SharePoint or OneDrive location.

To access previous versions:

1.   Select File Info.

2.   Click the View and restore previous versions hyperlink. The Version History task pane opens, listing all saved versions of the file.

3.   There are a couple of other ways to access the Version History task pane: in the applications title bar, click the down arrow to the right of the file name, opening a menu. From here, you can change the name of the file, view its location and, most importantly, select Version History If you are using Word 2019 (not 365), there is a Version History icon in the upper right corner of the screen, between the Share and Comment buttons (Word only). You can click on it to open the Version History panel.

Other minor but cold updates

It’s the little things, right? Here is a collection of small improvements that make Office 2019 better.

New feedback sounds

If you use the Provide Feedback feature with Office 2019 Sounds (also known as Office Sounds), you can now choose between two sound schemes: Modern and Classic. To change the sounds (or turn them on / off), select File Options, select Ease of Access, and make your selection in the Feedback Options section.

Black interface option

The theme of the interface is the general color scheme of the application window. Colorful is the default, White is my personal favorite, and now there is Black. Select File Options , select General and select Black from the Office Theme drop-down list. This setting is applied immediately in all Office applications.




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